The Rays have been without backstop Mike Zunino for a week, as he landed on the injured list with left shoulder inflammation last Friday. The club has worked to pin down the diagnosis in recent days, and manager Kevin Cash indicated yesterday that Zunino may be dealing with thoracic outlet syndrome (via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times). He’ll receive a Botox injection in hopes of alleviating the symptoms, and the club expects to have a more defined treatment program by next week.
If the injection doesn’t have the desired effect, it’s possible Zunino would need surgery to address the issue. A thoracic outlet procedure would come with a months-long rehab process and end his 2022 campaign. TOS surgery has become more prevalent around the league in recent years, although it’s been a far more common issue for pitchers than for position players. The Rays have relied on a Francisco Mejía – René Pinto pairing behind the dish in Zunino’s absence, and a long-term or season-ending issue could inspire them to turn to the trade market for help. Tampa Bay could arguably stand to upgrade even if Zunino is able to rehab and work his way back quickly, as the impending free agent is hitting only .148/.195/.304 through 36 games this season.
The latest developments on some other notable injury situations around the game:
- The Dodgers placed Walker Buehler on the injured list last week after the righty was diagnosed with a flexor strain in his forearm. Shortly after landing on the shelf, Buehler underwent an arthroscopic procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow, he told reporters this week (via Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register and Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times). The two-time All-Star indicated he’s been pitching through the spur for years and decided it best to remove it while he’s already shut down from throwing because of the flexor issue. The procedure isn’t expected to affect his recovery timeline, and Buehler reiterated he expects to be back on a major league mound 10-12 weeks from now. It’s not clear whether he’ll have enough time to build up as a prototypical starter for the stretch run, but if all goes as planned, he should be available as a postseason weapon for manager Dave Roberts.
- Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff will join Triple-A Nashville for a rehab start tomorrow, tweets Will Sammon of the Athletic. It’ll be the first of two likely minor league appearances before the right-hander is set to return to American Family Field. Woodruff has been out since suffering a right high ankle sprain in late May. While he recovered quite quickly from the leg issue, he was dealt a bit of a setback when a battle with Raynaud’s syndrome — a condition that causes decreased blood flow to a person’s fingers — resulted in some numbness on his throwing hand. Fortunately, he was able to restart a throwing program within days and is apparently in good enough shape to progress to game action.
Zunino isn’t hitting but he is a leader and a good defensive catcher. He hit a lot of dingers in 2021, but even his power numbers are down. I wonder why TOS is so prevalent these days?
Agree. A team can give one out away in a lineup for defensive excellence, especially if every once in a while he lays into one. The problem is the Rays have four of those guys starting right now…it’s untenable. At least, if they truly want to win.
MT in Baltimore
Why wouldn’t they be trying to win?
Looking like the Yankees are in cruise control at this time, but the Rays, Toronto and Boston all look to make it into the postseason. Once the Playoffs start, anything can happen.
Astros Hot Takes
“A group of disorders that occur when certain blood vessels or nerves are compressed.
Thoracic outlet syndrome affects the space between the collarbone and first rib (thoracic outlet). Common causes include trauma, repetitive injuries, pregnancy, and anatomical defects, such as having an extra rib.
Symptoms include pain in the shoulders and neck and numbness, weakness, and coldness in the fingers.
Treatment involves physical therapy and pain relief. In rare cases, surgery may be needed to relieve the compression.
Fewer than 200,000 US cases per year
Treatable by a medical professional
Requires a medical diagnosis
Lab tests or imaging often required
Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong”
So you’re saying some of these players may be, or have been pregnant?
It can’t be that rare if this many ballplayers are getting it, considering there aren’t that many to begin with.
Repetitive injury might affect athletes more. Or they just get better medical care and we coach potatoes just ignore or live with the symptoms.
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Throwing hard, swinging hard, and sometimes sliding and diving for a ball or to get to a base safely, and the odd collision with another full sized man running at full speed all seem like traumatic events for the human body to endure on a daily basis, and that’s just for non-catchers. Catchers go through a lot more pain, being on their knees donning extra armor to protect themselves from the guy 60’6 away yeeting baseballs almost 100MPH at them. Zunino’s 31 too, which is like 57 in catcher years. Suffice to say he’s probably done as a ballplayer. He had a pretty good career though. Struggled on offense usually but got to hit a lot of dingers, made the playoffs a few times, made an all-star team last year, and caught many great pitchers. Made more money than the vast majority of people will ever get to see in their lifetimes as well.
They’ll definitely need something defensively at the very least if Zunino is down. Mejia has once again been inadequate defensively and his offensive numbers haven’t made up for his defensive shortcomings.
This is exactly why CLE dealt him to SD several years ago. He is the exact opposite of their prototypical catcher – hits too much and lacks skills behind the plate.
I do like his approach to hitting. He is a tough out as he swings at everything, but can make contact with any pitch. This year, unfortunately, that approach has not resulted into the type of offense that offsets his defensive woes. Defensively, his handling of the running game is especially atrocious. The guy on first is almost guaranteed to move to second no matter who the runner is. Rizzo, Judge and Stanton all had stolen bases in their last series and none of those dudes are exactly burners.
A healthy and rested Buehler for the playoffs will be HUGE.
If it happens. Even at the shorter end of the recovery timeline he won’t be back until the first week of September. Any kind of setback and he’s done for the season. Name your favorite Dodger prospect and expect him to be somewhere else by the end of July.
Or if not a prospect, perhaps someone like Lux?
Probably not Lux. He has done a fine job this year. With T. Turner approaching free agency, would be very surprised if Lux is considered for trade.
Any guesses on the SP they might target in a trade?
Dodgers like Castillo
@ tstats. We also know they like Montas. They traded to get him, once upon a time.
that went real well
BlueSkies. Of course, nothing is guaranteed. I should have stated, “if a healthy and rested Buehler is ready for the playoffs,” Which current pitcher that “might” be available, is worth a top prospect?
Is there a pitcher available that is an upgrade over Urias, Kershaw, and Gonsolin?
Mike Piazza Pie
The dodgers have better in house options than the trade market can offer. Heaney, May, and to a lesser extent Duffy all could outperform the lackluster pitching options.
Unless LA overpays for Montas, there’s not much available.
Precisely MikeP. Unlike some execs, Friedman: 1) has the latest, data-driven knowledge and understanding of his own assets and the assets he might target, and 2) he will not panic.
In addition to May, Heaney and Duffy–Landon Knack, Pepiot, Bobby Miller and others may well be progressing to the point that they can make significant contributions in October.
Giving up Cartaya, Busch (the guy I’m certain the As want) or other premium prospects is not likely. In addition, there will be no Max Scherzer’s available at this year’s deadline.
Heaney is absolute garbage.
@ BRUINBLUW. Hard to know this early who would be on the market but a couple of possibilities are mentioned here. Both Gonsolin and Anderson are having Cinderella seasons, but are those performances sustainable? Place your bets, but I’d go for the under. And who knows where Kershaw will to be, health-wise?
@ norcalblue. The problem with this thinking is all of the internal options you mention are not top of the rotation. They are not who you want to start in postseason games. I think you might be overlooking the fact that the Dodgers lost their designated top guy, and bumping everyone up a position isn’t really the solution for a team that expects to win in the postseason. It also isn’t a very good plan for winning a tough division.
So, are you saying Friedman didn’t “panic” when he gave up a load for Scherzer? That seems like a bit of revisionism. The need was there, and he filled it, at great cost. This year they won’t need to find another Scherzer, they will need to find someone who they can confidently use to start a postseason game.
@BlueSkies. Regarding the points you have offered, what I was saying is that: 1) there is no Scherzer available this year. As a consequence, my “favorite Dodger prospects”: (e.g., Cartaya, Busch, Miller, Pages) will not be traded by an exec who knows the difference between Scherzer v. Montas, Castillo or any other starter that will be marketed, 2) In agreement with MikeP, because the talent available is not appreciably better than what we currently have, I don’t think Friedman will make a deal–certainly not by trading “my favorite prospects”–as you reference. He might trade Vargas, Diaz, Eddys Leionard, Andre Jackson or James Outman. Trading a package of these types of prospects for Montas or Castillo would not be panic..
I guess I am a bit confused by your last point, “…This year they won’t need to find another Scherzer, they will need to find someone who they can confidently use to start a postseason game”.. As I see it, that is another way of making the point I have made. What we have is likely to be as good as what we can acquire. But, if Friedman does purse Montas or Castillo it will NOT be at the price of “my favorite prospects”..
We clearly disagree on our assessment of Friedman. In reading your posts over the past several years here I have watched you castigate Friedman for refusing to trade away young prospects (Seager, Urias, Bellinger) and then also criticize him after-the-fact for making deals (Ruiz, Gray) that did not produce a championship. My point is that AF does not panic. It’s easy to be a Monday morning quarterback., which with all due respect, I feel is a role you play here. when it comes to AF.
To your new point that I am engaging in revisionist history. I take it that your point is that last year’s trade was indeed “panic”.? I do not see that deal as a panic trade. AF acquired a HoF pitcher, performing at his peak and who pitched that way until injured AND the best SS in MLB with another year on his contract. Turner may very well sign an extension. In the meantime he is likely one of the 2-3 most valuable players on a team with the best lineup in baseball The chances the Dodgers will win the WS this year are enhanced greatly by his being on the roster. For those extraordinary assets, AF traded a very good catching prospect who was blocked by arguably the best catcher in the NL and who is only 3 years older AND a starter who will, at best, be mid or back of the rotation. Would I like to have Ruiz and Gray? Yes, probably to trade. I disagree that it was a panic trade. Clearly, I have great respect for Friedman. You do not. It’s ok, I respect your passion for baseball and the Dodgers and appreciate many of your posts. All good.
Well now I’m rooting for Heaney to come back and be great.
@gbs42,,,I agree, and he looked like he might just be that before going down!
Nah, he’s really not.
My really he’s not was directed at the troll that said Heaney is garbage. He is not.
Starving a troll often is the best way to get rid of one.
Hmmm the rays need a catcher , who has a surplus and needs pitching help ? Jays maybe?
Good point but, Do you think they would make a trade with someone in their own division?
First inclination would be “no” but then again if both teams feel they improve why not?
It’s a business. If you help the rays improve beat up on ny and bos , and improve yourself maybe it’s a win. ?
John Rocker Fan Club
The Reds have Sandy Leon in the minors still I think and I’m sure he could be a cheap stopgap that wouldn’t cost much. The Brewers also have a catcher coming back soon from suspension and nowhere for him now with Caratini. Maybe the A’s if they feel the need to move Sean Murphy?
Cards just dfa’d Sanchez and he was just starting to heat up at triple A. Also pretty good defensively.
I can’t understand why the Cardinals designated Sanchez when they had to have known about Molina’s knee issues.
Fire the Royals Leadership
Royals need to do something with Cam Gallagher. He’d be perfect fill-in. Great defense, good clubhouse guy. Just nowhere for him in KC now
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They’re using it to treat migraines too. Modern medicine is crazy.
No way would I let a doctor inject me with that stuff. I fear that somewhere down the road they’ll discover disastrous side effects that they’re not accounting for now.
“Botulinum neurotoxins, causative agents of botulism in humans, are produced by Clostridium botulinum, an anaerobic spore-former Gram positive bacillus. Botulinum neurotoxin poses a major bioweapon threat because of its extreme potency and lethality; its ease of production, transport, and misuse; and the need for prolonged intensive care among affected persons. A single gram of crystalline toxin, evenly dispersed and inhaled, can kill more than one million people. The basis of the phenomenal potency of botulinum toxin is enzymatic; the toxin is a zinc proteinase that cleaves neuronal vesicle associated proteins responsible for acetylcholine release into the neuromuscular junction. As a military or terrorist weapon, botulinum toxin could be disseminated via aerosol or by contamination of water or food supplies, causing widespread casualties.”
In 1902, the Sears catalog sold “Dr. Rose’s French Arsenic Complexion Wafers” for a clear complexion. Yep, arsenic.
Arsenic is still used in modern medicine, fwiw.
Jarred Kelenic's Beer Can
Antidepressants can cause suicidal thoughts/actions. Chemotherapy can kill someone faster than the cancer it’s supposed to treat. There’s always going to be risk of side effects no matter what.